The legal profession is currently discussing a certified lawyer for data protection law. Does it need that, if there is nevertheless a certified lawyer for information technology right? Not in my opinion: Data protection is included with the certified lawyer for IT law.

For the first time probably in the editorial of the NJW-aktuell 26/2019 (see editorial of the RAK Munich) the question was taken up about a specialist lawyer for data protection law. But which specialist lawyer deals with data protection law? Data protection law has so far been part of the certified lawyer for information technology law.

Knowledge of the certified lawyer

According to § 14k Fachanwaltsordnung (FAO), anyone wishing to hold a certified title in IT law must demonstrate special knowledge of information technology law. This essentially also includes the law of data protection and the security of information technologies, including encryptions and signatures, as well as their specific professional features. Otherwise, no other certified lawyer will list knowledge of data protection law.  Knowledge of money laundering, data protection and banking fees is also required by the certified lawyer for banking and capital market law.

Specialist lawyer and digitalisation

With the digitization, however, the data protection should also increasingly occupy the other certified solicitor’s offices, however. Data protection is gaining considerably in importance in all areas, whether in labour law with employee data protection, in commercial and company law with due diligence, in tax law, in medical law anyway and even in building and architects law and building information modeling (BIM). Do we still need a special certified lawyer for data protection? In my opinion, however, data protection is best dealt with by information technologies.

Information and technology, data protection

Information technologies are a generic term for information and data processing based on technical services and functions. It is therefore about information and technology and thus also about data. I consider it unnecessary to separate the legal issues relating to information, data and the underlying technology into two certified attorney titles. Otherwise, further subdivisions will follow in the future, such as the certified lawyer for rescue service law – which also does not (yet) exist.

Specialist lawyer for IT law

In fact, one could consider renaming the title of certified solicitor to certified solicitor for data protection and information technology law. This would put the potential client on the right track, but would unnecessarily inflate the title. One could shorten the designation also in certified lawyer for information right – or leave it even thereby, what it is: The certified lawyer for IT right.